The Importance of Science for Younger Children

Science plays a crucial role in early childhood development, serving as a foundation for understanding the world. In the Early Years and Key Stage 1 (KS1), integrating science into the curriculum is not just about introducing basic scientific concepts but also about helping children make sense of their environment and the broader world.

Understanding the World Through Science in Early Years

For children in Pre-Reception and Reception, ‘understanding the world’ is part of their timetable, encouraging children to ask questions and adopt scientific thinking. The sessions are informative and usually practical, such as Reception growing sunflowers. Through this process, children observe changes over time, learn about plant life cycles and understand the requirements for growth such as soil, water and sunlight. This type of learning activity helps children develop observational skills, patience and a sense of responsibility.

Pre-Reception has been learning about the lifecycles of a butterfly. To bring their topic to life they painted their caterpillars using balloons as the art tool and their knowledge of numbers to count the circles.

Science in KS1

As children progress to KS1, the scope of science education broadens with a standalone Science lesson each week. In Year 1, for example, learning about climate change introduces complex concepts like weather patterns, the importance of different species and the impact of human activities on the planet. These lessons are vital as they help children understand the connection between humans and the environment. The children gain a thorough understanding of science through a multidisciplinary approach for example, they drew their own Sir David Attenborough portraits in Art, which engaged them with the work he does for climate change and how they can also act as ambassadors.

Aiding understanding at home

Early science education can spark a long-term interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). As technology becomes increasingly integral to all aspects of life, understanding scientific and technological principles from a young age is more important than ever.

There are many ways you can aid the understanding of science at home. Walks in nature, stargazing, growing plants and vegetables and kitchen science through cooking are all excellent methods of learning whilst having fun.